There's a debate raging in the fixed wireless market, and it boils down to one simple question: Are regular people smart enough to install their own receivers? It's a question with potentially millions of dollars hanging in the balance. After all, if consumers are smart enough to install their own receivers which are essentially mini cell towers that can provide a home or office with WiFi coverageproviders won't have to spend the money to send out a professional technician to do it for them.
How Will the 5G Rollout Impact Cell Tower Lease Rates?
Of course, on the flip side, if consumers don't do the installation right, their service might be crappy as a result. In which case they'll call their provider to complain, thus forcing the provider to pay for a customer service representative to field the complaint at the very least -- and potentially to pay for a technician to do the installation anyway, in the worst case. Despite that risk, some fixed wireless providers are inching toward a scenario that will test their customers' DIY do it yourself capabilities.
An age-old question This isn't the first time that telecom providers have asked their customers to handle some kind of installation. Some cable companies, for example, offer a DIY option for customers who want to install their gateways or set-top boxes. But building momentum behind 5G and other advanced wireless technologies is pushing some players in the market to find ways to make the fixed wireless installation process as simple and easy -- and as profitable -- as possible.
FWA is basically where a 5G provider beams a signal to a stationary receiver at a home or office to provide Internet services to that location. Unlike a smartphone, the receiver doesn't move, and as a result, providers can often tune their networks to provide faster and more reliable speeds to that receiver than they could to a device that moves around, like a smartphone.
And the upshot with fixed wireless is that providers can sidestep the thousands of dollars it might cost to route a wire to that home or office. In rural areas, fixed wireless may represent the only economical way to connect locations to the Internet, and in urban areas, it may represent an opportunity for a new provider to challenge incumbent wired Internet providers.
That's exactly what Verizon, Starry, Common Networks and others are using fixed wireless for in urban areas. Self-install gains ground At a recent investor event, Verizon's CFO Matt Ellis said that, at some point in the future, the carrier hopes that more than half of its 5G Home customers will install their own equipment. That's noteworthy considering Verizon initially launched its 5G Home service touting "white glove" installations that would not only include a technician adding a receiver on the inside or outside of customers' locations but also setting up their WiFi.
Because everyone has been used to when you want broadband installed or change broadband provider, you call up and somebody in a truck comes around and does that for you," Ellis said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of his remarks.
And so we'll work through reconditioning people that, no, this is something you could do yourself because you're not digging up the front yard and putting wires in the house There'll be a little transition there, but certainly, we believe that self-install will become the way of the future. Verizon has said it plans to expand its fixed wireless service to additional cities, but executives recently appeared to backtrack on plans to eventually expand the offering to 30 million US households.
Verizon isn't alone in looking at a self-install option.As the broader market labors through a tough trading stint, the cell phone tower sector has been one of a few that have soared. The impending rollout of the next generation of cellular network technology has been a catalyst for the group and has made tower real estate more valuable, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday. Semiconductor companies have been buoyed as 5G suppliersbut the industry has taken a hit from a U.
Tower companies, such as American TowerCrown Castle and SBA Communicationshave minor exposure to China and continue riding the decades-long tailwinds in wireless technology, Cramer said.
The cell tower companies "invest in the infrastructure that powers our wireless networks, then they charge carriers a fee to use that infrastructure," he said.
American Tower has 41, properties in the U. The majority of its revenue comes from outside the U. The firm posted a strong quarter earlier this month and yields just 1. Crown Castle has no international exposure and has trailed American Tower on the market, "but this year it's beginning to break out, and now it's my favorite in the space," Cramer said. The company has historically produced small cell towers that fit on lampposts.
These offer less coverage than high towers, but they act as a last leg in wireless connections to boost signal strength, he said. Cramer said it's his least favorite of the group, because it plays in the shadows of American Tower and Crown Castle, while sporting the worst balance sheet of the three. Although SBA reported a great quarter in late April, Cramer was perplexed that management did not mention 5G in the company's conference call presentation.
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Hit him up! Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox. Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services. All Rights Reserved. Data also provided by. Skip Navigation. Markets Pre-Markets U.By Paul R.
New York CNN Business Telecommunications carriers around the world are busy getting ready to deploy 5G — the wireless technology that will usher in lightning-quick speeds and provide faster access to the cloud.
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Here's why: The tower companies collect steady rental payments from the wireless carriers. Read More. The tower companies are already benefiting from increased demand for wireless services thanks to 4G mobile technology. That will continue as wireless companies prepare their 5G networks, which really won't be fully deployed until at the earliest. MoffettNathanson analyst Nick Del Deo thinks the tower companies can continue to do well this year. He noted in a report after SBA's earnings were released that the pace of leasing activity should pick up further in He added that satellite TV company Dish DISHin addition to the four large wireless telecoms, spent more to lease tower space in the fourth quarter.
Network builders: LTE costs will transform the cell tower biz in 2016
What is 5G? Booming demand for 4G was great news for the tower companies in He said he expects a greatin part because of "the beginning of the development of 5G, which we believe will provide us with multiple years of solid customer demand and strong growth.
Carriers around the world will be upgrading their wireless technology, which could yield to big gains for international tower companies as well.At very high levels, RF waves can heat up body tissues. But the levels of energy used by cell phones and towers are much lower. The base station responds to this signal by assigning it an available RF channel. RF waves transfer the voice information to the base station. The voice signals are then sent to a switching center, which transfers the call to its destination.
Voice signals are then relayed back and forth during the call. When RF signals are transmitted back and forth to the base station during calls, the RF waves produced at the base station are given off into the environment, where people can be exposed to them.
RF waves from a cell phone tower antenna, like those from other telecommunication antennas, are directed toward the horizon parallel to the groundwith some downward scatter. Base station antennas use higher power levels than other types of land-mobile antennas, but much lower levels than those from radio and television broadcast stations. The amount of energy from RF waves decreases rapidly as the distance from the antenna increases. As a result, the level of exposure to RF waves at ground level is much lower than the level close to the antenna.
At ground level near typical cellular base stations, the amount of energy from RF waves is hundreds to thousands of times less than the limits for safe exposure set by the US Federal Communication Commission FCC and other regulatory authorities.
It is very unlikely that a person could be exposed to RF levels in excess of these limits just by being near a cell phone tower. When a cellular antenna is mounted on a roof, it is possible that a person on the roof could be exposed to RF levels greater than those typically encountered on the ground.
But even then, exposure levels approaching or exceeding the FCC safety guidelines are only likely to be found very close to and directly in front of the antennas. If this is the case, access to these areas should be limited.
The level of energy from RF waves inside buildings where a base station is mounted is typically much lower than the level outside, depending on the construction materials of the building. Antennas are pointed away from the side of the building, and the energy level behind the antenna is hundreds to thousands of times lower than in front. On top of this, wood or cement block reduces the exposure to energy from RF waves by a factor of about Therefore, if an antenna is mounted on the side of a building, the exposure level in the room directly behind the wall is typically well below the recommended exposure limits.
Newer, smaller versions of base stations often referred to as small cellswhich are part of fifth generation 5G cellular networks, are discussed below. Some people have expressed concern that living, working, or going to school near a cell phone tower might increase the risk of cancer or other health problems.
At this time, there isn't a lot of evidence to support this idea. Still, more research is needed to be sure. The American Cancer Society ACS does not have any official position or statement on whether or not radiofrequency RF radiation from cell phones, cell phone towers, or other sources is a cause of cancer.
ACS generally looks to other expert organizations to determine if something causes cancer that is, if it is a carcinogenincluding:. Other major organizations might also comment on the ability of certain exposures to cause cancer.
However, some other agencies have commented on cell tower safety. These safety limits were adopted by the FCC based on the recommendations of expert organizations and endorsed by agencies of the Federal Government responsible for health and safety. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that such towers could constitute a potential health hazard to nearby residents or students. More recently, the US Food and Drug Administration FDA issued a technical report based on results of studies published between andas well as national trends in cancer rates.You might have heard of 5Gthe newest mobile networking technology that's replacing 4G and powering the next generation of internet-connected devices The cell tower is an essential part of a 5G network.
Like any network infrastructure, certain equipment is needed to relay information between devices, which is exactly why a 5G tower is needed for 5G networks. A small cell in a 5G network is the base station that serves a critical role in the overall network. This is important not only for aesthetics but also for space efficiency—small cells support high frequency millimeter waves, which have limited range more on why this is important below.
Tackling the cost of a 5G build
A 5G cell tower is basically just a small box, like you see in the "5G" labeled image above. While this is how most 5G implementations are turning out, some companies are burying antennas under manhole covers to extend their mobile network through the streets. Despite their size, small cells are not weak. The tech inside these cells is what allows 5G to be so fast and support the growing number of devices requiring internet access.
Inside a small cell is radio equipment necessary for transmitting data to and from connected devices. The antennas within the small cell are highly directional and use what's called beamforming to direct attention to very specific areas around the tower. These devices can also quickly adjust power usage based on the current load.
This means when a radio is not in use, it will drop down into a lower power state in just a few milliseconds, and then re-adjust just as quickly when more power is needed. This is very much unlike the beefier 4G towers that take much longer to install and get up and running. Of course, small cells also require a power source and backhaul to connect it to the carrier's 5G network, and eventually the internet. A carrier might choose a wired fiber connection or wireless microwave for that connection.
Fortunately, since 5G cell towers are so small, they can be positioned in ordinary places like on light poles, the tops of buildings, and even street lights. This translates into less traditional-looking towers but also potentially more eyesores nearly everywhere you look. For 5G to really shine in a highly-populated city, for example, especially given its short distance limitations, towers need to exist close to wherever connected devices will need access to them, like at intersections, outside the doors of businesses, all around college campuses, right down your street, etc.
Another reason 5G towers have to be installed so frequently in busy areas is that for the small cell to support superfast speeds, it has to have a direct line of sight with the receiving device, like your smartphone or home. If you ever plan to replace your home broadband internet with 5Gyou'll most likely have a 5G cell tower down the street from your house. As 5G rolls out throughoutcarriers will begin releasing 5G coverage maps but probably won't show exactly where every tower is placed.
What Does Wireless Really Mean? Tweet Share Email. More from Lifewire.And Kevin Mottus of the US Brain Tumor Association says that within the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the higher the frequency, the more dangerous the radiation is.
With RF Radiation, how close the source is to our physical bodies is more important than the power level or wattage of the radiation.
RF Radiation dissipates with distance. In other words, a low powered exposure right next to someone, is more dangerous than a more powerful exposure a long ways away. Also the longer the exposure time is, the more dangerous it is. We will have more sources around us, and closer to us. And they will be more powerful and continuous emissions. Before we get into the rest of this article I just want to mention one thing. Many people that come to this site are also interested in emergency preparedness.
It has really good information on all types of emergency preparation. Read only the sections of this article you are interested in.
Simply click on any of the table of contents links below to be taken directly to that section of this article. Many people do not realize that they already have a mini cell tower emitting high levels of RF Radiation in their homes and offices right now.
We call them WiFi routers. If you have a 5G wireless router emitting the 60 GHz frequency, then you have a 5G mini cell tower in your home. Just like a cell tower, a WiFi router emits at full power 24 hours a day 7 days a week, or as long as you have it turned on. A microwave oven uses 2. That is a lot of RF Radiation we are exposing our selves and our families to. It is possible to protect yourself from the RF Radiation emitted by the mini cell tower in your home we call your WiFi router.
But if you have to have a WiFi router, here are two ways to protect against its radiation.Cell tower mystery solved
The first is to use technology to neutralize the harmful effects of the radiation. And the second is to put your WiFi router in a box called a router guard to reduce the amount of RF Radiation it emits. Believe it or not there is a scientific way to change the RF Radiation in your home to a more natural less harmful form.
There is a company called Aulterra out of north Idaho check them out here at: Aulterra. Kim Dandurand developed this technology in when he was engaged in a major environmental cleanup project where this technology was used to neutralize chemical and radioactive waste from landfill sites.
He then funded a bunch of studies to see if these same paramagnetic minerals would neutralize RF Radiation. What he learned was that they do 2 things. First they decrease the intensity of the radiation. And second they neutralize the effects of electromagnetic radiation rendering it harmless to human DNA.
Basically, the way I understand it, the paramagnetic minerals within the Aulterra products form a magnetic field that changes the man-made waves emitted by WiFi devices into a more natural form. The products Aulterra produces reduce the intensity and the damaging affect of RF Radiation. The below is a video of a man getting a blood test done two different ways as a comparison. The first was done after him talking on his cellphone.
And then the second test was done after him talking on the cellphone with the Aulterra Neutralizer on his cellphone. In the picture to the above left you can see something called a Wifi Router Cover.Small cells are growing in a big way in the US, but there's still a debate raging over whether they're actually a good business to be in. That's because the small cell business is both highly competitive and highly local.
The 5G inflection Small cells have been a topic of discussion in the wireless industry for roughly a decade now, but they've gotten a kick in the pants in the past few years as network operators struggle to keep pace with users' data demands.
Basically, wireless network operators can improve network capacity by either adding more spectrum to their network or by increasing the number of cell sites they operate -- small cells fall into that latter category.
And by all accounts, US wireless network operators are embracing small cells. For example, trade group CTIA forecast that the small cells in the US will grow from around 86, in to overby Indeed, in just the past few weeks Sprint confirmed it now counts 30, outdoor small cells, and T-Mobile said it counts 23, small cell or distributed antenna system sites, with plans to deploy 20, additional small cells through the remainder of this year. That's partly because small cells are an ideal way for operators to deploy 5G in millimeter-wave mmWave spectrum: Transmissions in mmWave spectrum can only travel a few hundred feet, due to the propagation characteristics of that band, and that's ideal for small cells because they can be as small as a pizza box and are often installed on so-called "street furniture" like light poles or streetlights.
All these factors create a complex market for small cells that's almost equal parts opportunity and challenge. A tale of two tower companies Crown Castle and American Tower are two of the biggest macro cell tower companies in the US, and they have diametrically opposed viewpoints on small cells.
He boasted that the company's 70, route miles of fiber are helping to power a small cell business that is on track to grow from 7, in to 15, in On the other hand, executives at American Tower don't like the small cell opportunity at all. That's why, he said, American Tower has so far stayed out of the small cell business "outdoor systems" in American Tower parlance almost entirely.
Zayo's Parra said the company only bids on small cell opportunities where it thinks it can make money. Eric Bozich is CenturyLink's senior director of wireless densification and in charge of the company's small cell buildout effort. He agreed that there's growing demand for small cells and said that CenturyLink generally deploys six to eight small cells in the area that would normally be covered by one macro cell site. Zayo and CenturyLink, of course, are both leveraging their existing fiber networks to backhaul the small cells they build.
However, Parra said the company still pays special attention to the "art of site acquisition. And he adds that, sometimes, it's actually cheaper for the company to build a separate small cell next to an existing one rather than putting network equipment for two operators on the same pole, mainly because of the additional power requirements for equipment for two operators instead of just one.
Zayo and CenturyLink are among the many fiber and cable providers hoping to cash in on selling backhaul services for small cells. NIMBY Unlike macro cell towers, which can often be built on the outskirts of town, small cells must be deployed right in the middle of the action. Moreover, it's easier for carriers to ink one big small cell deal with a city government rather than trying to negotiate individual deals with dozens or hundreds of building owners in a given city.
That's why the wireless industry is pushing on state officials to ink legislation that makes it quicker and easier for them to roll out small cells in different cities across the country -- whether local regulators and residents like it or not.
Already more than 20 US states have signed small cell laws.